Wizards Vs Aliens interview with Scott Haran and Percelle Ascott
Created by Doctor Who writers Phil Ford and Russell T Davies, BBC's latest flight of fancy Wizards Vs Aliens is promising to be a whole tonne of fun for all ages.
Tom (Scott Haran) and his brainy buddy Benny (Percelle Ascott) are two plain ol' English kids who just happen to be a wizard and a super science brain, respectively. The two join forces to battle the villainous, and uuuuugly, Nekross. Awesomeness ensues.
With Wizards Vs Aliens series 1 hitting Australian stores tomorrow (17 July), we have the honour of speaking to the shows stars, Scott Haran and Percelle Ascott.
Percelle: You can expect a lot things from Wizards vs Aliens, it's a show about two teenage boys (Tom and Benny) who become best friends as they have to rely and use each others skills in the war against the alien Nekross. Wizards vs Aliens pushes the boundaries with its story lines, visual effects and the characters that are explored; this is not a normal kids show.
Scott: I think you can expect a fun family orientated show. I think Wizards Vs Aliens is an exciting show and I think it’s something different. I think viewers get to enjoy the mix of magic, science and aliens which isn't something you get to enjoy on a regular basis. Aside from that its a show that explores relationships and isn't afraid to tackle certain issues. Its special.
Percelle: Filming Wizards vs Aliens is so much fun filming, with our heavy filming schedule patterns I think it’s very important to enjoy it as well, it’s very easy for things to bring you down or for you to not embrace all the amazing things that come when working on a project like this.
Scott: We have had so much fun filming on set, we are lucky to have such a great cast & crew and there is always that 'family' vibe. Which allows everyone to enjoy what we do even more! We all work really hard so whenever we get the chance to play a prank or two we use it! We aren't shy of an explosion here or there on Wizards Vs Aliens which is always the highlight of the day...I’m sure you can imagine the fun everyone has working with those.
We also get to go to great locations such as 'The Stone Circle' and we get to film at the amazing 'Roath Lock Studios' which is the home for many other amazing shows such as 'Doctor Who'... I’m sure you guys know what that is right?
The series could quite easily be compared to the incredibly successful Doctor Who, which is a massive compliment. Are your fans as hardcore as "Whovians"?
Percelle: Definitely a huge compliment, Doctor Who is one the most respected shows here in the UK, and I’m sure the world knows of its success too; but I’m very dedicated to my show and confident in it’s ability. In all honestly, no, I’m not a hardcore fan, but I am a fan of what the show has achieved, I used to watch the show when David Tennant was The Doctor, and was hugely inspired by Noel Clarke who played ‘Micky Smith’ from watching his journey in the industry.
Scott: It is a massive compliment and its really nice to hear. Everyone has worked so hard and put their all into this show and to see it get positive feedback like that is a rewarding feeling, it’s a great show and it deserves credit. Haha I wouldn't like to compare to be honest but all I can say is that the fans of Wizards Vs Aliens couldn't be more pleasant. I received a lot of positive feedback from fans of the show and it felt amazing!
Often in pop culture we are often given either magic or science fiction, not both. Does this add to the fun of the series?
Percelle: This is what our series is based upon; this is our secret ingredient amongst other things, which makes it a great show to watch, but also to be in. I think with these two themes, so much can be explored making it the complete adventure for kids
Scott: It does, I think that’s a special treat everyone gets to enjoy as we don't often see the two used in the same show! It shows the originality of Wizards Vs Aliens and definitely adds that fun aspect to the show.
The Nekross are pretty freaky. Did you ever find yourself creeped out on set?
Percelle: They do look a bit freaky, which is credit to the company Millennium FX who have done an incredible job. But with Jefferson Hall (Varg) and Gwendoline Christie (Lexi) being so cool to work with, the Nekross don’t seem so bad after all.
Scott: You know what, at first they were pretty creepy! But working with them for a long period of time I have to say the fear has slightly worn off as we have got to know Jefferson Hall (VARG) and Gwendoline Christie (LEXI) really well, both being so much fun and amazing to work with!
Randall Moon also comes across as pretty creepy at times but from all accounts, actor Dan Starkey is a true gentleman! Is it ever hard to separate the character from the actor?
Percelle: Dan Starkey who plays Randall Moon is absolutely fantastic, being fairly new to working on big productions like this, having the chance of working with people like Dan is amazing, I learn so much from actors like Dan who give everything to the role. I would say it isn’t hard to separate the character from the actor, working with Dan, before a take, you can have a laugh and talk about things with have common ground in, but soon as the camera’s are up; he completely leaves Dan Starkey and switches into the character, leaving you no choice but having to believe he is Randall Moon.
Scott: He is indeed! Dan Starkey is such an amazing talent and the nicest person! I feel privileged to have had the chance to work with him. Which is why I don't find it too hard to separate the person from the character as they are totally different! But saying that, it can feel slightly weird having a normal conversation with Aliens and Hobgoblins, makes it quite entertaining sometimes!
Now, just to stir things up a little, Tom has all the magic but Benny has the brains! Who's the bigger hero in Wizards Vs Aliens?
Percelle: I could only answer this question by saying, Tom and Benny are like ‘Ying and Yang’ we need each other to survive and help protect Earth.
Finally, any chance of seeing you chaps down under? I'm sure your Aussie fans would love to say hi!
Percelle: I’m sure when the time is right for everyone, we would love to come down; I believe it’s very important, to meet the people who support and enjoy what you do, to show them your appreciation of the love and support.
Scott: Australia is an amazing and beautiful place, and it would be great to get the chance to meet fans of the show from down under and experience the love you guys have for the show first hand! So if I ever got the opportunity to visit, I would consider myself very lucky!
WIZARDS VS ALIENS SERIES 1 is available on DVD from 17 July 2013.
WIZARDS VS ALIENS SERIES 1 is available on DVD from 17 July 2013.